Flower shop owners losing profits due to street vendors

Some Harlingen flower shop owners were sure hoping residents would resist the cuddly bears being sold on the streets.

Araceli Diaz, was one of the many vendors that set up shop Valentine's Day on the streets of Harlingen.

She said she has sold flower arrangements and stuffed animal baskets during Mother TMs Day and Valentine's Day for the past three years.

"Well we do it as a hobby and also to show our children how to work hard to make money," Diaz said.

However, workers at Flowers by Selena on Harrison Avenue said the street vendors are affecting their business.

Diaz disagrees.

"Honestly, my opinion is that there's customers for everyone out there, Diaz said. There's so many people here in Harlingen that we don TMt necessarily cater to the same clientele."

The owner of Flowers by Selena said each year he invests about $30,000 to prepare for Valentine TMs Day and recalls the good days when profit were in the six digits " now, he said, they are barely breaking even.

"In order to compete we had to do it also, one of the workers said. We went to the city and got a couple of permits and we're out there too."

Sanchez is talking about the temporary street vendor permits.

Workers at Selena's said the city is not considering the property taxes, utility bills and worker's pay that they have to pay throughout the year when they issue the temporary permits to vendors that take away their business.

It would help out flower shops - it probably wouldn TMt stop everyone - they'd probably be doing it in their front yards, one of the workers said.

Harlingen leaders were not available for comment.